Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said Parliament has the power to decide "when and how" the lokpal bill would be passed and assured the Lok Sabha that all due legislative process would be followed.
Digressing from his reply to a special debate in the lower houseon rising prices of essential commodities and inflation, Mukherjee said the decision on any draft legislation's fate lay with parliament and there will be no "dilution" of the authority of Parliament to make laws.
"Normal law making, legislative process will be followed even in the case of lokpal. There will be no diluting the authority of Parliament to make this law. I will not accept that," he said.
"Exactly, I agree with you. A decision is to be taken by you, not executive or cabinet on how or when it is passed," he said when opposition members questioned him on the legislative process being adopted in the case of the lokpal bill.
However, he asked the opposition parties to put aside issues like lack of representation from the opposition parties in the 10-member drafting committee of the lokpal bill, which had five members of civil society led by social activist Anna Hazare.
"In this (lokpal) case, we have inputs from the civil society. But whether opposition representation was there or not, let's not go into that," he said.
Mukherjee later apologised to speaker Meira Kumar for moving away from his reply to the debate. "Sorry, I digressed from my subject," he said.